Café Jen

Special thanks to Hotel Jen Penang for extending this food review invitation.

Café Jen is the main eatery of Hotel Jen Penang. Located next to the lobby, the dining section features a minimalist design with a touch of modernity. Wooden tables and shelves are decorated with potted plants to create a casual ambience. As for the menu, Café Jen serves a combination of Asian cuisines and international flavors.
The hotel has recently launched the signature food and cocktail menu. This promotion runs concurrently at all Hotel Jen properties and is available until 30 April 2018. The menu covers 3 dishes and 4 special drinks that are specially crafted to suit the trendy clientele of Hotel Jen. Customers have a choice to dine at either Café Jen or the adjacent Lobby Lounge. In lieu of cash, Hotel Jen also accepts payment in terms of Golden Circle (GC) award points.
One of the menu's highlights is the Double Crispy Chicken Parmigiana Burger (RM28.00 or 70 GC), which is quite large for a single diner. Fried to golden perfection, the breaded chicken cutlet is topped with molten cheese for a sharp taste. Also sandwiched by a large sesame bun are romaine lettuce and tomato coulis. A rosemary twig on the side lends its herbal fragrance.
Nextgen Char Spaghetti (RM28.00 or 70 GC) is inspired by Penang's famous char koay teow (炒粿条). But instead of flat rice noodle, this dish uses spaghetti for the extra springiness. The pasta is cooked with shrimps, squids, fishcake, egg, cabbage, bok choy (小白菜) and garlic. Chili is not included by default, but diners can always request for a spicy version. I love the "fiery aroma" (镬气) of this dish.
As for something lighter, Cheese & Berries (RM15.00 or 40 GC) is the perfect choice. Served in a jar, the cheesecake is topped with fresh blueberries and blueberry sauce. Tapping into the pastry chef's forte, the dessert presents a rich taste of cheese without overwhelming the palate with too much sweetness. Meanwhile, gooseberries and strawberries are used as part of the dessert's plating.
Tea Time In Tanglin (RM30.00 or 75 GC) is a specially crafted drink that goes well with any occasion. Named after an area in Singapore in which Hotel Jen has another property, the chilled tea is presented in a transparent plastic bag. Infused with rosemary and peppermint, the drink carries soothing tanginess of lemon and pineapple juice.
Pina Kale-Ada (RM30.00 or 75 GC) is inspired by piña colada, a sweet cocktail based on pineapple juice. However instead of a pineapple, Pina Kale-Ada is served in a hollowed young coconut. Using coconut water as the base, the greenish drink also includes the juices of green apple, cucumber, banana and kale.
One of my favorite drinks this evening is the Beer Milkshake (RM30.00 or 75 GC). The viscous emulsion is a special concoction of milk, Guinness stout and chocolate ice cream. The milkshake is topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and Oreo cookies for aesthetic appeal, but these toppings have minimal role in the overall taste. I enjoy the subtle hint of alcoholic bitterness that the drink presents on my tongue.
The most alluring drink on the cocktail menu is indisputably the China Lady (RM68.00 or 170 GC). The cocktail is presented in a curvy ceramic bottle that resembles a woman in red cheongsam (旗袍). The drink comprises of shochu (焼酎), plum wine (梅酒), lemon juice, cucumber juice, maple syrup and pasteurized egg white. As soon the bottle cap is opened, my nostrils are greeted by the pleasant scent of Japanese liquor.
Besides the signature food and cocktail menu, Café Jen also serves International Buffet Lunch daily and Themed Buffet Dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings. To reward early birds, the restaurant also offers buffet vouchers at discounted prices. Furthermore, Café Jen throws in a free voucher for every 10 voucher purchased. This offer is valid until 30 April 2018 only.
Name: Café Jen
Address: Hotel Jen, Magazine Road, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-262-2622
Business hours: 6:00am-11:00pm
Coordinates: 5.41372 N, 100.33009 E
Directions: Hotel Jen is located at Magazine Road (Jalan Magazine), next to 1st Avenue Mall and just opposite of The Wembley. Café Jen is located at Lobby Level of the hotel. The hotel provides parking in its basement levels. Customers enjoy complimentary parking for the first 2 hours.


Lavish is an artisanal bakery under the same management as Love A Loaf. Located at Victoria Street (Lebuh Victoria), this bakery-cum-café shares the premise with a flower boutique, Petals & Leafz.
The interior and exterior sections of Lavish are decorated with lots of greenery. Above the communal table is a glass ceiling that lets natural light in. There is also a hanging garden against the wall.
I ordered a cup of Cappuccino (RM11.00). Unfortunately, the coffee is not quite as pleasing as some other cafés' in town. Perhaps the choice of beans is not my cup of tea.
Besides serving coffee and pastries, Lavish has a reasonable food menu too. Because I had a proper meal just now, I did not try any food here today.

Address: 214, Lebuh Victoria, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-261-0107
Business hours: 9:00am-11:30pm (Sunday), 10:00am-11:30pm (Monday-Thursday), 10:00am-12:00am (Friday), 9:00am-12:00am (Saturday)

Kopi & Toast

Special thanks to Kopi & Toast for extending this food review invitation.

Kopi & Toast (咖啡吐司) is a small eatery along Chulia Street Ghaut (Gat Lebuh Chulia), just across the road from The Press and The Legend Nyonya House. The shop's entrance has an overhead signboard with its Chinese name carved in golden characters.
Kopi & Toast was recently renovated to provide air conditioning. The dining area has several wooden tables and stools, giving an appearance of a homely coffee shop. Meanwhile, the interior brick walls are covered with sketches of London and Paris. There is even a retro-style gramophone on display.
Nasi Lemak With Curry Chicken (RM9.99) was recently added to the menu. The rice is dyed by the extract of butterfly-pea flowers (蝶豆花). Other traditional ingredients for nasi lemak are sambal (chili paste), anchovies (江鱼仔), roasted peanuts, sliced cucumber, fried egg and crackers. In my opinion, keeping the sambal and anchovies separate will result in a crispier mouthfeel.
The bowl of chicken curry contains chicken thigh and potatoes. The curry is remarkably appetizing despite the fact that it is slightly dilute today. Nevertheless, the lovely blend of spices really tantalizes the taste buds.
The bestselling dish at Kopi & Toast is Cheese Noodle (RM9.99), which is cooked and presented on a skillet. The instant noodle is served with mozzarella cheese, sausages, potatoes and fried egg. The cheese solidifies as it cools down, so it is advisable to consume this dish while the cheese remains molten.
As for beverages, the Galaxy (RM7.90) is probably the most unique choice. The drink is a mixture of apple cider vinegar, grape juice and green tea. The sharp taste of vinegar really helps to quench thirst. Butterfly-pea flower juice is also added, giving this iced drink an alluring purple color. Customers who are not used to apple cider can try the lemonade-based Fantasy instead.
Besides all-day breakfast, Kopi & Toast also serves a special burger called Cheezy Cheese. Unfortunately, I am not able to try it today. Based on what I have tasted so far, the food here is commendable. The pricing is also surprisingly affordable despite the fact that there are many tourist attractions nearby.
Name: Kopi & Toast (咖啡吐司)
Address: 63, Gat Lebuh Chulia, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 012-568-1856
Business hours: 7:30am-4:00pm, closed on Tuesdays
Coordinates: 5.41405 N, 100.34075 E
Directions: Kopi & Toast is located at Chulia Street Ghaut (Gat Lebuh Chulia) and near the junction with Weld Quay (Pengkalan Weld). It is opposite of The Press and The Legend Nyonya House. Street parking is available along Chulia Street Ghaut and Victoria Street (Lebuh Victoria).

Coffee On The Table

Coffee On The Table is a café at Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai), somewhat across the road from Black Kettle. Like its sister restaurant, Little Street, Coffee On The Table is known for its 3D foam art.
The café is larger than it appears from the front. The inner section is quite warm; I find it more comfortable to be seated near the entrance. The shop has two floors but the upper floor is usually reserved for private events only.
I ordered a cup of Cappuccino (RM11.90). At Coffee On The Table, coffee beans are roasted by Degayo. The espresso's soothing bitterness is rounded by sweetness of milk. The drink comes with a piece of biscotti.
Address: 164, Lebuh Pantai, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-262-2611
Business hours: 9:00am-11:00pm

Miki Western Food

There is no shortage of dining options at Elit Avenue. Today's lunch brings me to Miki Western Food. This restaurant is under the same management as Mikki Western Food in Sungai Nibong.
Since the kitchen and drinks bar collectively take up half the restaurant's floor space, the dining section is rather limited. The restaurant retains Australian decorations from the previous restaurant, Oz. I think this is quite misleading to customers.
I started the meal with garlic bread and mushroom soup. I like the strong taste of garlic on the former. But for the latter, I feel that its taste leaves a great deal to be desired. Meanwhile, a glass of fruit punch is served as the drink.
The Chicken Parmigiana (RM11.00) is covered with molten cheese and tomato coulis. I feel that the breading makes dish too dry in the mouth. Mashed potatoes and coleslaw are served on the side.
As for desserts, ice cream flavors are chocolate, vanilla, mango and strawberry. I opted for a scoop of mango ice cream.
Although Miki Western Food claims to have the "most reasonable price in town", I feel that there are several similarly-priced Western restaurants in the area. Food taste is just mediocre at best. Miki Western Food does not serve pork.

Address: 1-1-3, Elit Avenue, Jalan Mayang Pasir 3, 11950 Bayan Baru, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-638-3133
Business hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, closed on Sundays

Charcoal & Clay

Charcoal & Clay (炭烧金锅) is a Thai steamboat restaurant in Bandar Bukit Raja, Klang. The restaurant does not have air conditioning. Therefore, the place may be quite warm during sunset.
Charcoal & Clay serves Thai steamboats such as mookata (หมูกระทะ) and jim jum (จิ้มจุ่ม). Steamboat meals are available in à la carte, set or buffet form.
We opted for all-you-can-eat mookata today. The cooking pot uses heat from burning charcoal underneath. At the center of the pot is a dome where diners can fry food. Pork lard is provided to grease the frying surface. The dome is surrounded by a "moat" of soup where food can be boiled.
Pork belly (五花肉) is the main appeal today. There are several types of marinade: pepper (胡椒), sesame (芝麻), honey (蜜糖), ginger (姜) and milk (牛奶). My favorite type is the one with honey. In addition, I also enjoy gold coin bakkwa (金钱肉干).
Besides pork belly, there are more food items at the self-service buffet line. Although marinated chicken is available, I feel that it pales in comparison to pork. Other notable items include minced pork (肉碎), pork liver and quail eggs.
I particularly like the pork bacon wrapped in enoki mushrooms (培根卷金针菇). Okra with minced pork (肉碎羊角豆) is interesting too. Other items that are meant to be boiled are abalone mushrooms (鲍鱼菇), wood ear fungus (黑木耳), bean curd skin (腐竹), pumpkin (南瓜) and taro (芋头).
Vegetable choices are napa cabbage (大白菜), bok choy (小白菜) and water spinach (空心菜). As for noodle choices, there are rice vermicelli (米粉), instant noodle (快熟面) and yee mee (伊面).
Another important aspect of steamboat is the selection of condiments. The restaurant provides spicy sauces such as spicy fish sauce, red chili sauce, green chili sauce and nam chim (น้ำจิ้ม).
Matcha mochi (抹茶麻糬) is part of the buffet package but is not listed on the menu. The snack is made from matcha-flavored glutinous rice flour and is coated with crushed peanuts and sugar.
Charcoal & Clay's buffet is priced at RM33.90 per adult and RM18.90 per child. The meal also includes drinks like herbal tea (凉茶) and Chinese tea (中国茶). Certain items like shrimps, squid, cooked dishes, desserts, beer and soft drinks are not included in the buffet price.

Address: 16, Jalan Rodat 2/KU5, Bandar Bukit Raja, 41050 Klang, Selangor
Contact: 012-375-8264
Business hours: 5:00pm-12:00am, closed on Tuesdays